Lawmakers in Austria have demanded that the gov­ern­ment reject the land­mark free trade agree­ment between the European Union and Mercosur, the BBC reports.

Members of Parliament from a num­ber of dif­fer­ent par­ties across the polit­i­cal spec­trum refused the pass the treaty out of com­mit­tee, cit­ing con­cerns about Brazil’s envi­ron­men­tal poli­cies and recent fires in the Amazon rain­forests.

Brazil is one of four mem­bers of the Mercosur (the oth­ers are Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay), all of which have rat­i­fied the agree­ment. If just one of the 27 EU mem­ber nations rejects the deal, then it can­not pass through the European par­lia­ment, and will effec­tively be dead.

France, Ireland and Luxembourg had pre­vi­ously threat­ened to veto the deal, which took more than 20 years to nego­ti­ate, due to con­cern for European farm­ers as well as the envi­ron­ment.

This comes as bad news to olive oil pro­duc­ers and con­sumers from both sides of the Atlantic who were eagerly await­ing the chance to export and import tariff-​free olive oil from one shore to the other.

However, the agree­ment is not dead yet. Austrian vot­ers head to the polls September 29 and depend­ing on the elec­tion, a new set of law­mak­ers may yet breathe new life into the deal.



More articles on: , , ,